MANUSCRIPT: Assessment in undergraduate medical education: a review of course exams.
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to describe an approach for evaluating assessments used in the first 2 years of medical school and report the results of applying this method to current first and second year medical student examinations. Methods: Three faculty members coded all exam questions administered during the first 2 years of medical school. The reviewers discussed and compared the coded exam questions. During the bi-monthly meetings, all differences in coding were resolved with consensus as the final criterion. We applied Moore’s framework to assist the review process and to align it with National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) standards. Results: The first and second year medical school examinations had 0% of competence level questions. The majority, more than 50% of test questions, were at the NBME recall level. Conclusion: It is essential that multiple-choice questions (MCQs) test the attitudes, skills, knowledge, and competency in medical school. Based on our findings, it is evident that our exams need to be improved to better prepare our medical students for successful completion of NBME step exams.